Mondo Topless | Take It Slow (Get Hip Recordings)

A boundless batch of pure rock 'n' roll energy, Take It Slow is the album you always knew Mondo Topless had in them.

 


Mondo Topless are a brutal live act, a four-headed spittin', snarlin' beast of rowdy rock 'n' roll, garage-style. After seeing the Philadelphia foursome bludgeon their way through a live set, it becomes obvious that no mere digital encoding on a flimsy compact disc could possibly contain such fury. The band's last record, 2002's Go Fast!, and songs like "Panty Sniffer" captured the attitude of the band, yes, but never the energy.

Until now. On Take It Slow, their fourth album in a 14-year career, Mondo Topless-so named after a movie by skin-flick connoisseur Russ Meyer-have finally encapsulated their live sound onto a CD with a blazing set of two- and three-minute garage rock grooves. The opening track sets the frantic pace with a lightning fast rhythm fueling singer Sam Steinig's cheese-tastic Vox Continental organ through the verse before screeching to a half as all the instruments drop out, Steinig insisting "C'mon/C'mon/And take it…slow," before the band explodes back to life. The opening salvo attacks with lethal efficiency, sliding through the title track, the Paul Revere & the Raiders' cover "Louise," and the bouncing "It Hurts Me," amping up the energy more and more as the album continues. The sound is all about the groove, with the organ, Scott Rodgers' bass, and Tom Connors' drums creating the boisterous, insistent boogie of classic R&B as guitarist Kris Alutius flings ringing, Kinks-worthy solos between Steinig's snarling vocals.

Take It Slow was four years in the making and it shows, consolidating the essence of the band into a half-hour slab of boundless energy. Even the goofier asides, like the Black-Flag's-"Six Pack"-mit-organ bit of punk rock silliness "Beer" and the boozy shout-along cover of the Solomon Burke classic "Stupidity," hold up on their own. A boundless batch of pure rock 'n' roll energy, Take It Slow is the album you always knew Mondo Topless had in them.

RIYL: The Sonics, Paul Revere & the Raiders

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